In Gabrielle Union’s new book We’re Going to Need More Wine, she gives fans an honest peek into her life, including a heartbreaking reveal: She’s struggled with infertility and had “eight or nine” miscarriages.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant,” the 44-year-old wrote in an excerpt of her book obtained by People. “I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Gabrielle says she has gone through three years of failed IVF cycles and is constantly bloated from the hormones. Still, she and her husband, NBA star Dwyane Wade, “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”
Gabrielle says that kids weren’t really on her radar until she began raising Wade’s nephew and two of his sons. “I never wanted kids,” she says. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.”
Infertility is clinically defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of having regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Being labeled “infertile” doesn’t mean you can never conceive—it’s just that it’s taking longer than expected. Up to 15 percent of couples meet the criteria for infertility, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Like other celebrities who have opened up publicly about struggling to conceive—such as Chrissy Teigen, Jaime King, and Giuliana Rancic—Gabrielle is speaking up about the many challenges and frustrations associated with infertility. “For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” she says. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”
Gabrielle also doesn’t want people to speculate that she’s pregnant. “Once a month I look like I’m in my second trimester because I’m bloated,” she says. “It leads to the questions and it leads to the rumours and anytime I go into a doctor’s office I feel like I’m a member of SEAL Team Six undercover because I don’t want people to speculate.”
Gabrielle says that she hopes her story will help shed light on infertility and change the way people approach her about having kids. We’re Going to Need More Wine is out on Oct. 17.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health
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